Factories Echo Recession Pangs
Following in the footsteps of 2008’s dismal economic news, global manufacturing has fallen to low levels unseen for decades. In the U.S., factory activity has dropped to a 28-year low, marking a slump that further adds to the bad economic trends as we enter 2009.
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U.S. factory activity fell to a 28-year low in December as the deepening year-old recession hammered the manufacturing sector, producing a bleak outlook at the start of 2009.
The Institute for Supply Management said on Friday its index of national factory activity fell to 32.4 — a figure indicating contraction and the lowest reading since 1980 — from 36.2 in November. Its jobs gauge also hit the lowest level since 1982 and prices were the weakest since 1949.
The report on U.S. manufacturing echoed the dour tone set in factory surveys around the globe and indicated rough times ahead, with a gauge of new orders hitting its lowest level ever.
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